2013 Bass Pro Shops Southern Open #3 Logan Martin Lake - Pell City, AL, May 16 - 18, 2013

Pick-3 at Southern Open #3

“…oh tell me, who are you…”

Brandon & Emily Lester...Don BaroneBrandon
Meet Brandon Lester.

Brandon, married a mermaid.

“I came around this river bend, and there she was standing in the middle of the river.”

The mermaid is Emily, “I got into his boat, and never left.”

Let me tell you how this went down since right about now my PICK-3 is at SEVEN.

I was about to pull a pro angler out of line; I do that by asking a B.A.S.S. staffer to tell me a number between 1 and 10. Say they tell me 4; I count 4 people down the line, and that person becomes part of the random PICK-3.

That didn’t happen with Brandon and Emily.  As I was walking into the event, they came up to me and Brandon said, “db, man I read everything you write,” at which I said, “Thank you, dude. Every hit counts, and I appreciate it,” and then I started to walk away until Brandon said, “I’m now No. 2 in the standings.”

“You a pro-boater?”

“Yes sir.”

“Have we ever met before?”

“No sir.”

“So I’m walking in just minding my own business and a random dude walks up to me to talk, would you say it was a pretty random sort of thing?”

“Yes sir.”

“Come with me.”

Five minutes later I write down this one word….Mermaid.

Brandon:  “We’ve been married…

Emily:   “…almost a year now.”

...been married, "almost a year now."Don Barone...been married, "almost a year now."
Both turn and look at each other and smile. I can’t help myself, I smile too.  They got married June 2012; the pen I used to write that I borrowed from a hotel in May 2012.

Emily:  “I was on a river just chillin’. It was cool on a hot day but the boat broke and I got tired of paddling so I just got out…”

Brandon:  “…and I’m tooling down the river and see her standing in it, so you know, I stop and pick her up…”

Emily (who smiles while lifting her shoulders up giggly like): “…we’ve been together ever since.”

Fact is, Emily isn’t really a mermaid, more like a land based hair stylist; Brandon runs the receiving dock for a plastics factory.

Right now they live in an apartment but are looking for a house, “I really watch all those DIY shows on TV…I love the Do It Yourself stuff, I do it all the time and then Brandon comes and fixes what I tried to do.”

Brandon’s grandfather was a Pastor. Emily’s dad is a Pastor and is the one who married the two kids. Brandon is 25, Emily 26.

“During the wedding, dad talked about how you should treat each other, care for each other and have faith in your life as part of your marriage.”

Emily:  “You know what we did the day after we were married…”

Brandon:  “…we went fishing, Lake Guntersville. We were married at the Guntersville Lodge, stayed there that night, went fishing the next morning.”

They dream of buying a house, they dream of having children, of having a long marriage and fixing what the other one breaks.

Sound familiar.

PICK-3….or several more…the number doesn’t matter, someday I will PICK-300, and somewhere in those stories, the stories of strangers, will be YOUR story.

Will be our story.

The story of us.

I guarantee it.

Because, when I do PICK-3, I do so,

in a small town,



Where all of us are,


The Family, Of Us.

“…who are you,'cause I really wanna know.”

“Who Are You”

The Who